Popular applications Waze and Spotify integrated their services this week. This allows users to navigate with Waze without leaving Spotify.

IN case you missed it, two popular applications integrated their services this week. One gives you directions to your destination, while the other lets you listen to streaming music.

I found out about it by accident on Wednesday morning when I switched on Waze on my smartphone to find the fastest route to my son’s college. There was a new icon on the screen, and I was prompted to give Waze access to my playlist in Spotify. Within seconds, Bruno Mars’s That’s What I Like was blaring through the speakers as we made a U-turn onto Persiaran Kewajipan.

Truth be told, you could listen to your Spotify playlist while using Waze before, but it involved switching between the two apps. Their integration makes it much more convenient, and saves time, and we live in an era where convenience and time are two prized commodities.

The signs have been there for years. Consumers gravitate towards what is fastest and easiest. The fewer steps involved in the process, the better. Size doesn’t matter, and price matters less than it used to. Technology, innovation and business sense are likely to spur even more integration between apps and the companies behind them, moving forward.

The list of things that we can already do with apps today is an extensive one — send each other messages, links, photos and videos; play games and take quizzes; create original music and video; conduct banking transactions; watch TV shows and movies; buy and sell products and services; watch and talk to anyone, anywhere; read books, magazines, and newspapers from around the world.

At the most basic level, there can be opportunities for integration between two or more of these apps alone. For example, today we can already watch movies on various devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops or desktop PCs) with our personal preferences in terms of language and subtitles. Who’s to say we won’t soon be able to have another option — to have active links that let us shop for anything on screen that catches our fancy.

Say you’re watching Fast and Furious 10 on your tablet one day in the not too distant future, and you feel the watch worn by one of the characters would look good on your wrist, or the particular dress worn by the heroine in a scene would be perfect for an upcoming company dinner. With one tap, a box appears in the corner giving you details about the product — manufacturer, brand, price — and the option to locate the nearest store or to buy online.

The successful products and services of the future will be those that can tick the most number of boxes in the consumer’s wish list.

Why is convenience and saving time so important? I think it has to do with the sheer volume and speed of information and data that’s available or fed to us on a daily basis.

If it’s already overwhelming, keep in mind that information, logically, will never decrease. It just keeps expanding — more people, knowledge, companies, case studies, examples, surveys, recipes — every single day. But humans, with the aid of technology and innovation, have a knack for adapting to new challenges and environments. We will learn to adapt to this new world of mega volumes of information as well.

Recently, someone on my Facebook shared a video of the Lopifit. Designed by Dutchman Bruin Bergmeester, the electric walking bike is a blend between a scooter, an electric bike and a treadmill. It retails for US$2,495 (RM11,000).

With a Lopifit, someone can exercise while they walk-cycle to their destination. If they use the updated Waze app, they can get there in the fastest route while listening to the latest hits. Super multi-tasking and time saving!

The next question is, what do they do with all the time saved? Ah… that’s another issue entirely.

The writer studied journalism at the University of Toledo, Ohio. He has been with the NSTP group for more than two decades, the majority of them at ‘Business Times’. He has a wide range of interests in movies and music, plays golf and the drums.

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